by Rich Klein
When I first heard of Topps Strata and saw some of the press releases, my first thought was to wonder how this reasonably new addition to the company's football line would perform in the secondary market and be received by collectors. Well, if the reaction of the owner of my local card shop (Triple Cards, Plano TX) customers is an example then Topps Strata will develop into a very nice addition to their football stable.
In many ways, Strata is a very simple issue with 18 packs per box and six cards per pack. Each box says a collector will receive three rookie hits: A Clear Cut Autograph Relic, an Autograph Card and a Relic Card.
The only negative comment from my local shop owner was that his collectors believed the designs to be way too busy. And looking at the cards, the collectors do have a point because the fronts have the player photo in the middle with the player name on the bottom, the position on the right side and the team logo on the upper left corner. It's sort of a futuristic motif.
Even the backs have a lot of information as there is biographical information, some career highlights and then seasonal and career stats. However, the insert cards, especially the clear cut autograph relics are beautiful and since those are going to be what most collectors chase, the issue with the base cards will fade quickly over time.
How is this product performing in the secondary market? My aforementioned local store owner mentioned he had sold out of approximately 10 cases at $81.25 per box. Current on-line retail prices for these boxes are in the $90-100 range. So, how did we do from our box?
Bronze Parallel (#d to 150): Michael Brockers
Rookie Relic Card: T.J. Graham
Rookie Autograph Blue Parallel (#d to 75) Dontari Poe
Clear Cut Rookie Autograph: Chris Givens
No huge hits in this box although Givens shows promise.
While at the price point, I personally might want to see another couple of inserts, the majority of collectors seem to disagree with me based on the strong sales both locally and the strong prices from leading on-line hobby retailers. Thus, Strata with just a few tweaks might end up becoming one of the strongest additions to the Topps line.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]
Here's a 2-box blaster break of Strata we taped last month: